Community Composting

In celebration of Earth Month and our goal of creating a zero waste market and community, we are thrilled to announce the launch of our Texas Farmers’ Market Compost Fundraiser, with the goal of bringing our free Community Composting program and other market activities back to the Mueller market! The fundraiser begins April 4th and runs through May 31st, as we celebrate Earth Month throughout the month of April and International Compost Awareness Week May 1st – 7th.

Donate at this link – any amount helps!

Longtime Mueller shoppers may recall that we offered free compost drop-off at the market prior to COVID. Due to increased operational costs to keep the markets running throughout the pandemic, the program has been on hold at Mueller ever since (the program was brought back to the Lakeline market in December 2021 in partnership with Break it Down Austin). In order to bring the compost and other programming back to Mueller, TFM is seeking donations from the community to help our non-profit organization afford costs including a weekly pick-up service, staffing, and equipment/supply needs. Read on to learn more about our Community Composting program, and donate today to help us fill up our compost bin

Texas Farmers’ Market currently runs a donation-based community composting programs at our Lakeline market. On Saturdays you can drop your compost off at TFM Lakeline at the info booth from 9am-1pm.

What can you compost?

Check out our compost guide that lists what we can accept! We work with Break it Down Austin, a commercial composting facility that enables us to also accept things like meat, bones, and dairy.

Many food containers, utensils, and bags can be composted – if they have a label that says “100% compostable”, we can accept it!

 

 

 

 

 

Compost Drop-Off Tips

  • Bring your compost in a reusable container, and our team will dump it in our bins and return your container to you. You can find lots of great reusable compost bin options online.
  • You can also use compostable bags – find them at most grocery stores or online.
  • Freeze your scraps if possible! This helps cut down on odor (our compost bins are located in our info booth, and it can get a bit stinky, especially in the summer months!)
  • Make sure to remove things like produce stickers as they are not compostable.

Where does the compost go?

We work with a local organization called Break it Down that picks up our compost from the market each week. Here’s what they do with it!

“First, we haul your organic compost material back to our warehouse for processing, where our dedicated staff goes through the material by hand to remove contamination (trash and recycling). Then, some of the material that is safe for animal consumption – fruits and vegetable scraps – is hauled to a local pig farm, and the rest (meat, bones, and compostable service ware items) we process at our property or we haul to our partner facility for composting. The material is collected into long piles called windrows, where it receives the proper amount of moisture and oxygen to break down aerobically.  The core temperature reaches 160 degrees in those piles, which is why we can break down meat and bones as well as compostable service ware. In 3-6 months, the material becomes fertile soil amendments, which is primarily used in local farming to reduce dependence on problematic synthetic fertilizers, creating a closed ecological loop within our community here in Central Texas.”

Why is this so important?

Approximately one third of the food in the US gets wasted. When food waste goes into landfills, it emits gases that are harmful to the environment – Globally, wasted food accounts for about 8 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions (source).

Rather than putting food waste into landfills, composting creates an environment in which natural organisms flourish and the matter can decompose quickly into a rich, soil-like matter. This nutrient-dense fertilizer is like gold for farmers, and cuts down the need to use synthetic fertilizers.

More ways to cut down on food waste

Aside from composting, there are a lot of great ways to cook with parts of vegetables and produce that you may normally toss in the trash! Get inspired by our collection of zero waste recipes.

If you have any questions about our compost program, please reach out to [email protected]